It was a busy time for the EU this week, after talks to resolve the financial crisis in Greece broke down and then President Sarkozy suffered humiliation when France was downgraded by the credit ratings agency from its gold plated AAA rating. It was a crushing blow for the President ahead of his bid for re-election this spring.
Vincent Moss has a succinct view of last week’s euro politics here.
The first ever opera to focus entirely on sex trafficking will be premiered in the North West this spring in Liverpool. As regular readers of this blog will be aware, raising awareness of human trafficking has always been an important part of the work I do precisely because it is such a hidden crime, yet it has such devastating effects.
There has not even been a performance yet and it has been nominated for the Human Trafficking Foundation media award at the House of Lords last October. It will be premièred in Liverpool on Wednesday 7 March 2012. The venue is to be confirmed. As soon as I find out I will endeavour to let you know. You can read about the opera in full here.
There is some evidence that the pay gap between men and women is beginning to close. Marketing Week has the full story here. If the results are true this is an exciting time of change that we must celebrate. One set of figures, for example indicate male entrants earn an average of £20,864 but women start on £21,900. This is a reversal of last year’s trend, when male graduates were earning £22,800 in contrast to women earning £21,400.
Four in ten regret voting Lib Dem. This survey, by pollsters ComRes, exclusively for the Sunday Mirror is without doubt a damming blow for Nick Clegg, as their first party conference kicks off since they formed a coalition government he can expect to face the wrath of many activists unhappy at his new alliance. The Sunday Mirror claims that this latest set of statistics is the worst result of any ComRes poll completed since the election. You can read the full article here in the Sunday Mirror.
It will be a difficult time for Clegg as he will undoubtedly be faced with questions from disgruntled party faithful who could never have envisaged their party forming such a close alliance with the Tories. He has an enormous task ahead of him, and that is to appeal to his members to support the coalition government which will, he claims be a “great, great, reforming government.” The Observer’s political editor has a big piece in today’s paper which you can read here.
President Sarkozy found himself in hot water once again this week following his decision to deport Roma gypsies from France despite the European Parliament demanding an end to the policy. But there were harsh words between The French President who was angry over comments made by EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding who appeared to compare France’s actions to persecutions in Nazi-occupied France.
He said of her words: “The disgusting and shameful words that were used – World War II, the evocation of the Jews – was something that shocked us deeply.” I did a blog on it earlier in the week which you can read here and you can read the BBC report here.
I was disappointed to read in today’s paper that Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has given a civil service post to the daughter of a business associate who, the paper claims, is also a Tory party donor. The move has ‘raised eyebrows’ in Whitehall. She was made his parliamentary assistant in his private office two years ago but in May was given a job within the Department for Culture Media and Sport on a fixed term civil service contract. You can read the full article here in today’s Observer.